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Published On: February 17th, 2023

The Kokomo Jackrabbits are excited to announce our coaching staff that will be joining Coach Hobbs for the upcoming 2023 season!  Hobbs’ staff brings decades worth of diverse coaching experience throughout the baseball community. Read below to get to know your coaches a little more and what they’re bringing to Kokomo this summer!

As Assistant Coach, Hobbs is bringing along a familiar face in Steven “Sonny” Sunagel, as the two have spent close to the last decade working together. The two most recently worked together in 2019, with Sonny as the Assistant Coach for the Omaha Filthballers in the Cornbelt League. A former college player himself from the College of Wooster, Sonny has provided baseball instruction and coaching over the last 40 years at the high school and collegiate levels. Over the last 11 years he’s coached in several summer collegiate leagues with stints in the Prospect League, NY Perfect Game, NECBL, South Florida, Puerto Rico and most recently, the Cornbelt League as the Head Coach for the Omaha Blacksox.

During the offseason, Sonny provides teams and individual instruction at Foxcreek Facility in Lorain, Ohio while also traveling to various locations throughout the US with 224 Performance for camp instruction.

On Sonny, Hobbs says “I wanted to make sure that I brought someone in to coach with me that I knew well and with whom I had history. Sonny coached with me as my Assistant Coach for five years before coaching against me the past three in Omaha. He is good with the players, expresses things in a relatable way and is great at developing talent. I think the team will like having him around and he will add to everyone’s baseball IQ, referencing his decades of playing and coaching experience.”

As his Pitching Coach, Hobbs is bringing along Chris DeBoo. This summer will be DeBoo’s second season as a summer collegiate coach, previously working with the OC Riptide in the California Collegiate League. Working with the pitching staff there, DeBoo helped lead them to a top 3 finish in multiple pitching categories. No stranger to the mound, DeBoo played college baseball at Cal State Northridge and Valparaiso University. He spent several summers with the Humbolt Crabs where he would post a 20-1 record with a 1.68 earned run average in three summers there and later be inducted into the Humboldt Crabs Summer Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016. He also competed in the 2013 College World Series Regionals, making a start in an elimination game vs. Florida Gators.

Following his college career, DeBoo played several years of professional ball from 2013-2017 with stints with the Joliet Slammers (2013), Gateway Grizzlies (2014), Windy City ThunderBolts (2015, 2017), and Southern Illinois Miners (2016), pitching in over 180 games. During his professional career, DeBoo struck out 128 batters in 176 innings pitched. Prior to coaching with the OC Riptide, DeBoo coached for Whittier College, a Division III college in the Los Angeles area. As well as coaching, he has worked as a certified sports performance trainer for the past eight years working with numerous professional and collegiate athletes in the off-season focusing on strength and conditioning.

“Chris has a strong background as a college and professional pitcher, and most recently as a college pitching coach. His work ethic, and attention to detail will help every arm on the roster.  I wanted to bring in some young, hungry coaches who are willing to put their egos aside to help develop the team… Chris fits that mold perfectly.”, says Hobbs.  “He will bring a great amount of energy and intensity to the Jackrabbits and I’m glad to have him on board.”

DeBoo received his BS in Business Management from Cal State Northridge and his MBA from Valparaiso University along with also being Rapsodo and Driveline Baseball certified. In 2017, he trained at Driveline Baseball in Seattle, WA with MLB and MiLB players and has used that experience to help develop his players. He served as the General Manager of Marucci Clubhouse in Las Vegas and works as a Regional Sales Representative for Decker Sports. Jackrabbit fans can connect with their new pitching coach on multiple social media channels including Instagram (@chrisrd702) and Twitter (Chrisd18xx).

Be sure to keep up with Jackrabbits social media for all updates on the upcoming season! #GetJacked